Disbursements – JPAA Canada Trust Fund

Posted on 01 October 2018 by admin

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

This report is authored by Upali Obeyesekere, Founding President of JPAA Canada based on hard facts and documentation at hand. The following quotes were our guiding light in dealing with the challenges the Joint Trustees had in safeguarding the funds in the JPAA Trust Account.

 

QUOTES: 

  • Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing. John D. Rockefeller 
  • Leadership is about doing the right thing, even if it is going against a vast number of naysayers and mediocre people. N. R. Narayana Murthy 
  • With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. Zig Ziglar
  • The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • One of the best paradoxes of leadership is a leader's need to be both stubborn, strong and open-minded. A leader must insist on sticking to the vision and stay on course to the destination. But he must be open-minded during the process. Simon Sinek

 

THE STORY

The JPAA Trust Fund (In Canadian Dollars) was created at the turn of the century to conserve funds from JPAA Canada fund-raising events such as "Fellowship Nite" and "JPAA Annual Dance". What started off as a sound financial move turned into a nightmare that posed an ongoing challenge to the two trustees who were entrusted to manage the funds. It is alleged that the funds in this trust account was the bone of contention that may have eventually led to “sabotage” and the formation of the two breakaway groups in 2012 and 2017. There were ongoing attempts to move funds from the trust account for frivolous projects in Sri Lanka that were turned down. It transpired that the parties who recommended the transfer funds of the JPAA Trust Account were working in liaison with interested parties in Colombo. Subsequent investigations revealed this to be a correct revelation.

The trust fund was originally opened in a Canadian Bank branch in Scarborough where the Branch Manager was an Old Peterite. In one instance the Manager of the Bank showed Upali Obeyesekere and Christy Joseph a letter written by the then General Secretary and Hony. Treasurer requesting total withdrawal of funds. On seeing this unauthorised letter, Upali & Christy promptly took pro-active steps to close the account at Scotiabank immediately and move it to another Canadian bank to secure the funds. Strict instructions were issued that only the assigned two trustees are authorized to deal with the bank with regards to the funds in the JPAA Trust Account. This safeguard was necessary as it was alleged a handful of deceitful members were attempting to withdraw funds from JPAA Canada Trust Fund surreptitiously. Had it not been for due diligence of the two trustees (Upali Obeyesekere & Jeevan Pragasam), this could very well have happened.

In the case of the initial bank, the branch manager apparently had been a classmate of the then Hony. Treasurer at St. Peter's College. This same bank manager made a startling revelation to Upali Obeyesekere and Christy Joseph. He claimed to have attended a meeting in new millennium where a group had gathered in the basement of a house in Scarborough and formed a breakaway Peterite Association with the specific intent of giving the new organization legitimacy and authenticity to manage the JPAA Trust Fund. He also named a past-president of JPAA Canada (name withheld) as the 'president-elect' of this breakaway group that never took off after this illegitimate initial meeting. Probably this rebellious group realised it wan not that easy to fool all the people in this fraudulent plan and abandoned the idea. Had it not been for the due diligence exercised by the two trustees and Christy Joseph (JPAA President), the trust fund may have got hijacked at some point in time in the last 8 – 12 years. Upali Obeyesekere, Jeevan Pragasam and Christy Joseph should be commended for securing the funds of JPAA Canada and ensuring it was diverted to the alma mater.

The founding President Upali Obeyesekere (SPC) was entrusted to manage the "Trust Fund" along with co-trustee Jeevan Pragasam (SJC). A strict policy was established that disbursements from the 'trust fund' would be made only to the Alma Mater for specific projects. All donations from the trust fund would only be sent directly to the two rectors and not to the respective parent OBUs in Colombo. Word on the street is that this policy was not a popular one as the OBU had leaned on getting the funds directly to them.

JPAA Canada Select Committee comprised of incumbent President Christy Joseph, Executive Committee Member Aubrey Atton & Founding President Upali Obeyesekere

Incumbent JPAA Canada President Christy Joseph, founding president Upali Obeyesekere and Interim General Secretary, JPAA Canada Aubrey Atton formed a three-man Special Committee to manage and disburse the funds in the "trust account" and the "operating account". After much deliberation and reconciliation – the special committee decided to disburse balance funds in two separate payments to the two Rectors of SJC & SPC, equally.

The first disbursement of $5,713.20 each was mailed by JPAA Canada President Christy Joseph to past-president SPC-OBU Roshan Dharmaratne who personally handed over the bank drafts to the two rectors on behalf of JPAA Canada, along with SPC-OBU President Asela Lihinikaduwa.

The second and final disbursement of $2,167.03 was personally handed over to Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin – Rector, SPC and Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel – Rector, SJC by JPAA Founding President Upali Obeyesekere in the presence of SPC-OBU past-president Roshan Dharmaratne. This was done last December (2017). Specific projects were identified when the donations were made and Fr. Trevor and Fr. Travis both agreed with our direction on this matter. In total, a sum of $7,880.23 each was given to the two schools by JPAA Canada in 2017. This amount in Sri Lankan currency came to slightly less than a million rupees, per school.

 

 

 

-THE END –

 

 

 

 

 

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